End-to-End: Round 8

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Taking a look at all the weekend’s action, we investigate who had a thoroughly enjoyable weekend and who couldn’t wait for the sound of their Monday alarm.

With just one round remaining in the W-League, two finals spots remain on the line with Canberra, Newcastle and Sydney all vying for a position. Meanwhile in the A-League, Brisbane’s season continues to get worse, as the Asian Champions fail to win again in the league.
LOSERS
Adelaide United have been on fire to start the A-League season, winning five of their first seven matches. However, this came to an abrupt halt against Melbourne Victory on Friday. United went down 3-2 with all five goals coming in the first half. Adelaide’s defence which was one of the best going into the match, imploded. Two completely avoidable own goals put them well on the back foot immediately. Defender Nigel Boogaard was at fault for both in a night he’d quickly like to forget.
The 2014/15 season is rapidly becoming one to forget for Melbourne City who suffered a horrid 5-1 loss at Wellington. Striker Nathan Burns wreaking havoc amongst the City defence to claim the Phoenix’s first-ever hat trick. The City defence was a complete shemozzle as the Phoenix were able to constantly break through the offside trap and guide the ball past Andrew Redmayne under little pressure.
Brisbane Roar fans will be hoping this is all a bad dream as their campaign continues to derail. After getting off to the worst-ever start to an A-League season with four losses, their Premiership coach was shown the door. Now star player Thomas Broich is set to miss six weeks due to ankle surgery. It is amazing at how quickly things can unravel for one of the league’s top clubs.
WINNERS
The Melbourne Victory are enjoying life sitting in 2ndplace on the ladder and as the only undefeated team left in the league. Their 3-2 victory over rivals Adelaide is another indication that they are the real deal this season. The Victory does a lot of harm in the front third with an attacking arsenal like no other in the A-League. In Besart Berisha and Archie Thompson the Victory has two of the league’s best-proven scorers and when supported by the likes of Kosta Barbarouses and Gui Finkler it is easy to see why they have netted the most goals this season. Another positive for the Victory is that their W-League side has claimed second position for the regular season and look the most likely to challenge Perth for the title.
As mentioned earlier the Wellington Phoenix had a field day against Melbourne City. The win was their fourth of the season; good enough for fifth position and to create a six-point lead over sixth-placed Central Coast. After a tough few seasons Ernie Merrick looks to have moulded Wellington into a top six side. There are still four good teams above them but for Wellington it is a step in the right direction as they strive for finals football.

A major reason for their success has been the form of striker Nathan Burns. His hat trick on the weekend moves him top of the goal-scoring list with seven; two above Andy Keogh, Berisha and Henrique in second. Burns’ form has helped Wellington claim the second best attacking record in the league, only bettered by the Victory. Burns should be amongst the action again this weekend when he faces former side Newcastle.

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